Featured Post

It Happened at the Coliseum

I get new readers to NYISkinny all of the time (And thanks, and welcome!) For those who weren't with us in the 2014-15 season, I spent...

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

MSG Press Release on Isles/Rangers playoff coverage

All Isles games (except game 3) on MSG +; all #NYR games (except game 2) on MSG.

More details here:
http://www.themadisonsquaregardencompany.com/news/2013/msg-networks-is-the-home-of-the-first-round-of-the-nhl-playoffs.html

 
Forever1940 is the nom de plume of Eric Hornick, statistician on Islander home telecasts since January 21, 1982. Visit my blog: NYISkinny.com and follow me on Twitter @ehornick

Isles ticket update

Ticketmaster is showing some limited availability for the three potential first round games against Pittsburgh.

For both games 3/4 only single seats are shown upstairs; there are some seats available in the 100s/200s in groups -- mainly at the end of the ice the Isles defend twice.  (Of course that means you'll have a good view of the Volek-like heroics in the first overtime!)

More tickets (but not a lot) are available for next Saturday's potential game 6.

Of course Ticketmaster availability is subject to change.

Stubhub pricing starts at $107; the cheapest tickets downstairs are at $169 -- which is slightly more expensive than the same seats on Ticketmaster)
 
Forever1940 is the nom de plume of Eric Hornick, statistician on Islander home telecasts since January 21, 1982. Visit my blog: NYISkinny.com and follow me on Twitter @ehornick

Monday, April 29, 2013

National Assignments set for Isles- Penguins Games 1-3

Per Fang's Bites:

Kenny Albert & Pierre Maguire will have games 1-2 on NBCSN  (Note this will be blacked out in NY-area.  The only place to see the game locally will be on MSG+).
Dave Strader & Darryl Reaugh will have game 3 exclusively on NBC.

National assignments for the remainder of the series have not been announced, but MSG+ will have the telecasts of all games EXCEPT GAME 3 locally.

TSN will have the complete series in Canada. Gord Miller tweeted that he will call the play-by-play of both the Islander-Penguin series and the Ranger-Capital series. (The only possible overlap is Isles/Penguins game 7 with Rangers/Capitals game 6) 

Update: Mike Johnson, who recently had the Islanders 5th in the NHL in his power rankings will provide the commentary on the TSN telecasts.

Forever1940 is the nom de plume of Eric Hornick, statistician on Islander home telecasts since January 21, 1982. Visit my blog: NYISkinny.com and follow me on Twitter @ehornick

Draft Lottery Tonight

...and for the first time in six years it doesn't involve the Isles! 

Quick: what's 14 x 13 x 12 x 11? It's 24,024.

What's that have to do with the Draft Lottery? Well, everything.

The lottery is conducted with the selection of four balls from a pool of 14. Once a ball is chosen, it is not replaced (so each ball can be selected only once). As if turns out, there are 24,024 possible "permutations" that can be chosen. However, when you change it to combinations (ie 1-2-3-4 is the same result as 4-3-2-1 or 2-3-4-1.... or 21 other permutations), there are only (24,024 divided by 24 = ) 1,001 possible results.

One of those 1,001 is thrown out (I don't believe that the NHL has ever identified which one it is) and the others are assigned to each of the teams.

Here are the odds of winning the lottery:

1 - Florida - 25.0%
2 - Colorado - 18.8%
3 - Tampa Bay - 14.2%
4 - Nashville - 10.7%
5 - Carolina - 8.1%
6 - Calgary - 6.2%
7 - Edmonton - 4.7%
8 - Buffalo - 3.6%
9 - New Jersey - 2.7%
10 - Dallas - 2.1%
11 - Philadelphia - 1.5%
12 - Phoenix - 1.1%
13 - Winnipeg - 0.8%
14 - Columbus - 0.5%


Remember, the biggest difference with past years is that the winning team will pick 1st overall no matter where they finished.  In the past, only the bottom 5 teams had a chance at the first overall pick.

The lottery will be held tonight and televised beginning at 8:00 on NBC Sports Network and TSN.
 
Forever1940 is the nom de plume of Eric Hornick, statistician on Islander home telecasts since January 21, 1982. Visit my blog: NYISkinny.com and follow me on Twitter @ehornick

Isles/Pens Game 3 on NBC

...and that in itself is news, as least from an Islander perspective.

Best I can tell, it will be the first time the Isles are televised coast-to-coast in the United States on an over-the-air telecast since May 16, 1993, which was game 1 of the Islanders-Canadiens series, coming 36 hours (or so) after David Volek eliminated the Penguins.

The Isles have had some national TV (ABC/NBC/FOX) games since, but I believe that all have been regional telecasts.

For the Penguins on the other hand, it will be their first coast-to-coast telecast since March 17th.  (Pittsburgh was shown by NBC nationally 3x, and also appeared in a regional telecast on the opening day of the NHL season.)
 
Forever1940 is the nom de plume of Eric Hornick, statistician on Islander home telecasts since January 21, 1982. Visit my blog: NYISkinny.com and follow me on Twitter @ehornick

Sunday, April 28, 2013

#Isles and #Penguins - a brief history lesson

This is the 4th time that the Isles and Penguins will meet in the playoffs, and if it is anything like the first three, we are in for a memorable two weeks of hockey.

1975 Quarter-Finals:  After defeating the Rangers on JP Parise's overtime goal, the Isles drop the first three games to Pittsburgh.  In fact, the Penguins led 3-0 in each game, and never trailed in any of them.  However, the Isles turned the tables, and completed the dramatic comeback in seven games.  Ed Westfall's third period tally was the only goal of Game 7 as the Islanders, who never trailed in games 4-7, became the first team since the 1942 Maple Leafs to erase a 3-0 deficit to win a best-of-7 series.


1982 Preliminary Series:  The two-time champion Islanders (who had a 15-game win streak in the regular season) were heavy favorites, and pounded the Penguins 8-1 and 7-2 in games 1 and 2.  The team was so favored that they checked out of their Pittsburgh hotel room before game 3, however Rick Kehoe scored in overtime to prolong the series and the Penguins won game 4 by a 5-2 count, setting the stage for one of the great games in Coliseum history on April 10, 1982. Trailing 3-1 late in the third period, the Islanders rallied to tie on goals by Mike McEwen and John Tonelli.  The rally was keyed in part by Al Arbour's goalie change, as the rules at the time allowed for the goalie to warm-up (and for the players to rest).  The rule was changed a couple of years later.  In the first overtime game played at the Coliseum since the 1980 Cup clincher, it was again Tonelli and Nystrom, but this time it was Tonelli with the series-winning tally.  The dynasty was preserved; had the Penguins won that game history would have remembered the Islanders as, well, the 1991-93 Pittsburgh Penguins.

    1993 Divisional Finals: The two-time champion Penguins (who, with help of overtime, had a 17-game win streak in the regular season) were heavy favorites, particularly with the Islanders missing Pierre Turgeon following Dale Hunter's hit from behind.  Trailing 1-0 in game 1, the Isles rallied for a 3-2 victory, but Penguins wins in game 2 and 3 gave Pittsburgh the series lead.  Game 4 at the Coliseum was a classic 6-5 Islander win, highlighted by two Tom Fitzgerald shorthanded goals (on a penalty that should have been assessed to him).  The Champs won 6-3 in game 5, but the Isles forced the series to game 7 with a 7-5 victory in game 6 (Steve Thomas had 4 points).  Game 7 was played in Pittsburgh on May 14th and the underdog Isles led 3-1 late in the third period (sound familiar?). The Penguins rallied to cause overtime, but 5:16 into the session David Volek scored to dethrone the Penguins. The potential dynasty was derailed; had the Penguins won that game history might have remembered the Penguins as, well, the 1980-83 New York Islanders.
  

Saturday, April 27, 2013

The Skinny on the Playoff Chase

The Islanders will have to wait until tomorrow night to determine their first round opponent.  However, the possible opponents are down to two: Pittsburgh and Boston.

With the Rangers victory this afternoon and Ottawa's loss tonight, the Rangers will face Washington in the opening round of the playoffs. The Rangers will finish in 2nd place in the Atlantic and 6th in the East.  The Isles will finish 3rd in the Atlantic and either 7th or 8th in the East.

Ottawa has one game remaining -- the Marathon make-up in Boston tomorrow.  If the Bruins win in regulation, the Isles will face Boston; otherwise, the Islanders will finish 8th and face Pittsburgh.

Given that Consol is booked for Tuesday night, a series in Pittsburgh would likely open on Wednesday. There are no similar issues in Boston (except for a potential Celtics game 6 on Friday).

Ironically, the standings below show the Islanders currently matched up with Montreal.  However, there is no way that the teams can face each other in the first round as either Boston will move up or Ottawa will.

The Standings (all teams have clinched):
  • 1 Pittsburgh (Atlantic Champion) 48 games 36-12-0 72 points (33 ROW) Regular Season is Over
  • 2 Montreal (NorthEast Leader) 48 games 29-14-5 63 points (26 ROW) Regular Season is Over
  • 3 Washington (SouthEast Champion) 48 games 27-18-3 57 points (24 ROW)  Regular Season is Over
  • 4 Boston  47 games 28-13-6 62 points (24 ROW) Final game: Sunday vs. Ottawa
  • 5.Toronto 48 games 26-17-5 57 points (26 ROW) Regular Season is Over
  • 6 NY Rangers 48 games 26-18-4 56 points (22 ROW) Regular Season is Over
  • 7 NY Islanders 48 games 24-17-7 55 points (20 ROW) Regular Season is Over
  • 8 Ottawa 47 games 24-17-6 54 points (20 ROW) Final game: Sunday at Boston
If the season ended  today (underlined teams are locked in to that position):
#1 Pittsburgh - #8 Ottawa
#2 Montreal - #7 Islanders
#3 Washington - #6 Rangers
#4 Boston - #5 Toronto

Playoff match-ups (if Boston wins tomorrow in regulation)
#1 Pittsburgh - #8 Ottawa
#2 Boston - #7 Islanders
#3 Washington - #6 Rangers
#4 Montreal- #5 Toronto

Playoff match-ups (if Boston wins tomorrow in overtime or shootout)

#1 Pittsburgh - #8 Islanders
#2 Boston - #7 Ottawa
#3 Washington - #6 Rangers
#4 Montreal- #5 Toronto
 
 Playoff match-ups (if Ottawa wins tomorrow in regulation, overtime or shootout)

#1 Pittsburgh - #8 Islanders
#2 Montreal - #7 Ottawa
#3 Washington - #6 Rangers
#4 Boston - #5 Toronto
  
What's a ROW?
Regulation or Overtime Wins. Wins earned in a shootout do not count towards the first tiebreaker.

What are the tie-breakers?
  • Fewest games played 
  • Most ROW
  •  Head-to-Head record
  • Goal differential for the entire season
What do the tie-breakers mean to the Islanders?
The Isles will LOSE any tie in points with Ottawa.  The Isles have the same number of ROWs as Ottawa but the Sens won the season series.
Where Can the Isles Finish?
The Isles can finish either 7th or 8th based on the result of  Ottawa's game in Boston on Sunday night.

· Isles will finish 7th (and face Boston ) IF Ottawa loses to Boston in regulation
· Isles will finish 8th (and face Pittsburgh) IF Ottawa gains at least one point vs. Boston.

Remaining Eastern Conference Schedule:

Sunday, 4/28:
Ottawa at Boston - Three of the four Eastern Conference playoff match-ups will be determined by this game, which is the final one in the NHL this regular season.
 
There is one day remaining in the NHL season.  
Forever1940 is the nom de plume of Eric Hornick, statistician on Islander home telecasts since January 21, 1982. Visit my blog: NYISkinny.com and follow me on Twitter @ehornick

The Skinny on the Playoff Chase

With the Rangers victory this afternoon, the Isles can no longer face Washington in the opening round of the playoffs. The Rangers will finish in 2nd place in the Atlantic and either 6th or 7th in the East.  The Isles will finish 3rd in the Atlantic and either 7th or 8th in the East.

Ottawa has two games remaining -- at home against Philadelphia tonight, and in Boston tomorrow.  Unless the Sens lose both games, each in regulation, the Islanders will finish 8th and face Pittsburgh.

Given that Consol is booked for Tuesday night, the series in Pittsburgh would likely open on Wednesday.


The Standings (all teams have clinched):
  • 1 Pittsburgh (Atlantic Champion) 47 games 35-12-0 70 points (32 ROW) Final game: Saturday vs. Carolina
  • 2 Boston (NorthEast Leader) 46 games 28-13-5 61 points (24 ROW) Final games:  Saturday at Washington, Sunday vs. Ottawa
  • 3 Washington (SouthEast Champion) 47 games 26-18-3 55 points (23 ROW) Final game: Saturday vs. Boston
  • 4 Montreal 47 games 28-14-5 61 points (25 ROW) Final game: Saturday at Toronto
  • 5.Toronto 47 games 26-16-5 57 points (26 ROW) Final game: Saturday vs. Montreal
  • 6 NY Rangers 48 games 26-18-4 56 points (22 ROW) Regular Season is Over
  • 7 NY Islanders 48 games 24-17-7 55 points (20 ROW) Regular Season is Over
  • 8 Ottawa 46 games 24-16-6 54 points (20 ROW) Final games: Saturday vs. Philadelphia, Sunday at Boston
If the season ended at 6pm today (underlined teams are locked in to that position):
#1 Pittsburgh - #8 Ottawa
#2 Boston - #7 Islanders
#3 Washington - #6 Rangers
#4 Montreal - #5 Toronto
 
What's a ROW?
Regulation or Overtime Wins. Wins earned in a shootout do not count towards the first tiebreaker.

What are the tie-breakers?
  • Fewest games played  - (Boston 46, Montreal 47 puts Boston 2nd and Montreal 4th)
  • Most ROW
  •  Head-to-Head record
  • Goal differential for the entire season
What do the tie-breakers mean to the Islanders?
The Isles will LOSE any tie in points with Ottawa.  The Isles have the same number of ROWs as Ottawa but the Sens won the season series.
Where Can the Isles Finish?
The Isles can finish either 7th or 8th basedon the result of  Ottawa's two remaining games.  The Senators host Philadelphia on Saturday night and visit Boston on Sunday night.

· Isles will finish 7th (and face either Boston or Montreal) IF Ottawa loses both of their remaining games in regulation.
· Isles will finish 8th (and face Pittsburgh) IF Ottawa gains at least one point in the final two games.

(While it doesn't affect the Isles, the Sens could finish anywhere between 5th and 8th, needing two wins and a Toronto regulation loss to claim 5th place.)

Remaining Eastern Conference Schedule:

Saturday, 4/27:
Carolina at Pittsburgh - no playoff implications; could it be Kirk Muller's last?
Montreal at Toronto - huge implications and a possible playoff preview.  If Toronto wins and Boston wins one of their final two these Original 6 foes will meet in the playoffs for the first time since 1979.
Boston at Washington - Bruins and Habs are tied for lead; Bruins have one fewer ROW but are currently ahead of Montreal due to having an extra game to play.  If Bruins lost last two in regulation, Montreal wins the Northeast.
Philadelphia at Ottawa - A long-time foe can help the Isles by defeating Ottawa.
Florida at Tampa Bay - At least the weather is good.

Sunday, 4/28:
Ottawa at Boston - It's possible that all four Eastern Conference playoff match-ups will be determined by this game, which is the final one in the NHL this regular season.
 
There are 1 1/2 days remaining in the NHL season.  
 
Forever1940 is the nom de plume of Eric Hornick, statistician on Islander home telecasts since January 21, 1982. Visit my blog: NYISkinny.com and follow me on Twitter @ehornick

The Skinny on the Playoff Chase

The Islanders earned a point in Buffalo, but it may not be enough to keep them away from Pittsburgh in the opening round of the playoffs. While the Isles regular season is complete, the Rangers host New Jersey on Saturday afternoon while Ottawa host Philadelphia on Saturday night and visits Boston on Sunday night.
The Standings (all teams have clinched):
  • 1 Pittsburgh (Atlantic Champion) 47 games 35-12-0 70 points (32 ROW) Final game: Saturday vs. Carolina
  • 2 Boston (NorthEast Leader) 46 games 28-13-5 61 points (24 ROW) Final games:  Saturday at Washington, Sunday vs. Ottawa
  • 3 Washington (SouthEast Champion) 47 games 26-18-3 55 points (23 ROW) Final game: Saturday vs. Boston
  • 4 Montreal 47 games 28-14-5 61 points (25 ROW) Final game: Saturday at Toronto
  • 5.Toronto 47 games 26-16-5 57 points (26 ROW) Final game: Saturday vs. Montreal
  • 6 NY Islanders 48 games 24-17-7 55 points (20 ROW) Regular Season is Over
  • 7 Ottawa 46 games 24-16-6 54 points (20 ROW) Final games: Saturday vs. Philadelphia, Sunday at Boston
  • 8 NY Rangers 47 games 25-18-4 54 points (21 ROW) Final game: Saturday vs. New Jersey
If the season ended today (underlined teams are locked in to that position):
#1 Pittsburgh - #8 NY Rangers
#2 Boston - #7 Ottawa
#3 Washington - #6 Islanders
#4 Montreal -#5 Toronto
 
What's a ROW?
Regulation or Overtime Wins. Wins earned in a shootout do not count towards the first tiebreaker.

What are the tie-breakers?
  • Fewest games played  - (Boston 46, Montreal 47 puts Boston 2nd and Montreal 4th; while Ottawa 46, Rangers 47 puts Sens 7th and Rangers 8th)
  • Most ROW
  •  Head-to-Head record
  • Goal differential for the entire season
What do the tie-breakers mean to the Islanders?

The Isles will LOSE any tie in points with the Rangers or Ottawa.  The Isles have fewer ROWs than the Rangers and while they have the same number of ROWs as Ottawa, the Sens won the season series.

Where Can the Isles Finish?

Even though their regular season is over, the Islanders can still finish as high as 6th or as low as 8th based on the result of games this weekend.  The Rangers host the Devils at 3pm Saturday while the Senators host Philadelphia on Saturday night and visit Boston on Sunday night.
· Isles will finish 6th (and face Washington) IF neither Ottawa or the Rangers earn a point in their final games 
· Isles will finish 7th (and face either Boston or Montreal) IF either Ottawa or the Rangers earn a point in their final games
· Isles will finish 8th (and face Pittsburgh) IF both Ottawa and the Rangers earn at least one point in their final games

Remaining Eastern Conference Schedule:

Saturday, 4/27:
Carolina at Pittsburgh - no playoff implications; could it be Kirk Muller's last?
Montreal at Toronto - huge implications and a possible playoff preview.  If Toronto wins and Boston wins one of their final two these Original 6 foes will meet in the playoffs for the first time since 1979.
Boston at Washington - Bruins and Habs are tied for lead; Bruins have one fewer ROW but are currently ahead of Montreal due to having an extra game to play.  If Bruins lost last two in regulation, Montreal wins the Northeast.
Philadelphia at Ottawa - A long-time foe can help the Isles by defeating Ottawa.
New Jersey at Rangers - If the Rangers earn a point, they'll finish ahead of the Isles (and clinch 7th).  If the Devils win in regulation, the Rangers can finish no higher than 7th.
Florida at Tampa Bay - At least the weather is good.

Sunday, 4/28:
Ottawa at Boston - It's possible that all four Eastern Conference playoff match-ups will be determined by this game, which is the final one in the NHL this regular season.
 
There are 2 days remaining in the NHL season.  
Forever1940 is the nom de plume of Eric Hornick, statistician on Islander home telecasts since January 21, 1982. Visit my blog: NYISkinny.com and follow me on Twitter @ehornick

The Skinny: Buffalo 2, Isles 1 (SO)

"The Skinny"

 By Eric Hornick
 
Game 48
Buffalo 2, Isles 1(SO)

Keith Aucoin's third period goal got the Islanders one point, but Thomas Vanek scored the only goal of the shootout as the Islanders dropped a 2-1 decision to the Buffalo Sabres before a sellout crowd of 19,070 at First Niagara Center. The Islanders finished the regular season 8-1-4 in their last 13 and 11-2-4 in their last 17. With the point, the Islanders move into sixth place in the Eastern Conference but will need help over the weekend to avoid falling back to eighth place in the Eastern Conference.

The Scoring:

1st Period
NONE

2nd Period
03:29    BUF      B. Flynn (6) Slap - ASST: T. Vanek (21) 1 - 0 BUF         

3rd Period
07:26    NYI       K. Aucoin (6) Snap - ASST: A. MacDonald (9)  1 - 1 TIE 

OT Period
NONE

The Shootout:
Thomas Vanek (G), Frans Nielsen (NG), Drew Stafford (NG), Brad Boyes (NG), Jochen Hecht (NG), John Tavares (NG)

The Skinny:  
The Isles outscored their opponents 17-7 in the third period over the final 17 games … The Isles (excluding shootouts) scored 135 goals and allowed 136…. Buffalo goalie Ryan Miller played his 500th NHL game.  He is only the 12th goalie to play his first 500 with the same team…The final four games of the regular season all were decided by one goal, including three by shootout.  The Isles went 4-3 in the shootout this season…Frans Nielsen was stopped on his final five shootout attempts, and finished 2-7 on the season…The point gave the Islanders 32 points out of 48 possible road points; their .667 point percentage is the highest in FRANCHISE HISTORY...The Isles went 1-5-1 on the back-end of back-to-backs this season…The Isles are 21-13-6 in their final game of the regular season (0-3-2 in the last five) and are 19-16-5 in their final road game of the season (0-4-1 in the last five).

Road Warriors
The Isles have the second-best road record in the East, behind only Pittsburgh.  They finished above .500 on the road for the first time since 2006-07, and had their second best record ever thru 24 road games:
Most points in first 24 road games (all time):
·         34 in 1976-77 (15-5-4)
·         33 in 1980-81 (15-6-3)
·         32 in 2012-13 (14-6-4)
·         31 in 1978-79 (13-6-5)
·         28 in 1983-84 (13-9-2)
The Isles ended the regular season 0-1-2 in their last three games, marking the first time all season that they had gone three road games without a win.

The Standings (all teams have clinched):
·         1 Pittsburgh (Atlantic Champion) 47 games 35-12-0 70 points (32 ROW) Final game: Saturday vs. Carolina
·         2 Boston (NorthEast Leader) 46 games 28-13-5 61 points (24 ROW) Final games:  Saturday at Washington, Sunday vs. Ottawa
·         3 Washington (SouthEast Champion) 47 games 26-18-3 55 points (23 ROW) Final game: Saturday vs. Boston
·         4 Montreal 47 games 28-14-5 61 points (25 ROW) Final game: Saturday at Toronto
·         5.Toronto 47 games 26-16-5 57 points (26 ROW) Final game: Saturday vs. Montreal
·         6 NY Islanders 47 games 24-17-7 55 points (20 ROW) Regular Season Over
·         7 Ottawa 46 games 24-16-6 54 points (20 ROW) Final games: Saturday vs. Philadelphia, Sunday at Boston
·         8 NY Rangers 47 games 25-18-4 54 points (21 ROW) Final game: Saturday vs. New Jersey

The Shots:                
Isles        9-9-8-5=31
Sabres  10-5-6-1=22
 
Home and Road
The Islanders are 24-17-7 overall, 10-11-3 at home and 14-6-4 on the road.  Their 55 points in 48 games matches their highest 48 total since they earned 64 points in 48 games in 1983-84.
The Isles earned 32 of a possible 48 road points (.667) to establish a new franchise record for best road point percentage.  The previous record (set in an era when two points were available in all games) was .663, set in 1976-77 and matched in 1980-81.  The Isles went 2-1-2 in this season-ending five-game road trip.
The Isles ended their home season with at least a 6-game point streak (5-0-1) for the first time since going unbeaten in the final 23 home games of the 1981-82 season.
The Sabres finish at NHL-.500 as they are 21-21-6 overall, 11-10-3 at home and 10-11-3 on the road.   

In the Nets
Evgeni Nabokov made 21 saves as finishes the season 23-11-7 with a 2.50 GAA and a .910 save percentage
Ryan Miller made 30 saves for Buffalo as he improves to 17-17-5 on the season.

Power Plays
The Islanders were 0-4 while the Sabres were 0-3.
The Isles are 15-3-1 when they score at least one power play goal and 9-14-6 when they do not.
The Isles finish the regular season 31-156 on the power play and 28-142 on the penalty kill.  The Islanders scored 2 shorthanded goals and completed the entire season without allowing a shorthanded goal.  (Minnesota, who will finish their season on Saturday, is the only other team to not allow a shorty this season.)
The Isles went 0-12 in the final four games of the season on the power play and killed 17 of 23 in the final eight games.

Goals by Period (Season)
Isles:           37-49-47-2 = 135
Opponents: 35-43-54-4 = 136
 
Third period goals include 8 empty net goals for the Islanders and 8 empty-net goals against the Isles. 
59 of their 135 goals came from three players: Tavares (28), Grabner (16), and Moulson (15).

Leaders:
·         Games: 8 players played all 48 games
·         Goals: John Tavares with 28
·         Assists: Matt Moulson with 29
·         Points: John Tavares with 47
·         Plus/Minus: Lubomir Visnovsky: +12 (in only 35 games) – best by an Isle since Grabner and Nielsen both went +13 in 2010/11
·         Pen Mins: Matt Martin with 63
·         PP Goals: John Tavares with 9
·         SH Goals: Frans Nielsen and Michael Grabner each had 1
·         OT Goals: Brad Boyes and Thomas Hickey each had 1
·         Shots: John Tavares: 162
·         Shooting Percentage: John Tavares 17.3%
·         Average ice-time: Andrew MacDonald 23:31

In (Almost) Every Game
The Isles have been tied or ahead at some point in the third period in 42 of 48 games this season (24-11-7), including each of the last 22 games.   The last time the Isles were not tied or better at some point in the third period was on March 10 in Pittsburgh.

Second to One
Jack Capuano is now 2nd on the all-time Islander list in both games coached (195) and wins (84).

Most wins by Islander coaches:
1.     Al Arbour 740
2.     Jack Capuano 84
3.     Terry Simpson 81
4.     Peter Laviolette 77
5.     Ted Nolan 74

Most games coached (Islanders):
1.     Al Arbour 1,500
2.     Jack Capuano 195
3.     Mike Milbury 191
4.     Terry Simpson 187
5.     Scott Gordon 181

They Said It
Keith Aucoin on the tying goal: "[Miller] kind of lunged and I had a five-hole wide open. I don't think he expected to come off the boards as hard as it did.  Once it got by him, he was too far out of the net and couldn't recover. As soon as I saw the puck go by him, I knew I was going to have a good chance of scoring."

They Tweeted It
RT @KatieStrangESPN#Isles Isles pick up a point in shootout loss to Buffalo, jump into sixth spot with Rangers and Senators idle.

The Coach
``We got the point. They won the skills competition. But I told them after the game that they deserve this opportunity to move forward now. The past is the past. When we get back, we'll get some rest here and move forward. It's an exciting time for the guys.'

As Tavares Goes… 
The Isles are 1-0-0 when Tavares has four points, 2-0-1 when he has three points, 7-2-0 when he has two points, 11-4-1 when he has one point, and 4-10-5 when Tavares is pointless.

What a Pair!
John Tavares and Matt Moulson have combined for 43 goals this season.  Moulson has assisted on 20 Tavares goals this season after assisting on 12 of his 31 goals last season.  Tavares has earned an assist on 10 Moulson goals this season.  In five of the last six games that Moulson has scored a goal, Tavares has scored also.

Head of the Class
John Tavares has 249 career points; he is 59 points ahead of Matt Duchene for most among 2009 draft picks.  No other player in that draft is anywhere close.  Tavares also has more goals and more assists than any other player in that draft.

118 NHL Goals
Moulson has 118 career goals (112 as an Islander).  While 262 players were selected before the Penguins chose Moulson in the 2003 entry draft, only 16 have more goals.  

Leading Ice Men
Mark Streit played 26:38 to lead the Isles.  Christian Ehrhoff led Buffalo with 30:09.

In the Circle
The Islanders won 32 of 63 draws.  Casey Cizikas won 5 of 8 to lead the Isles. John Tavares won 12 of 22; he has won 111 of 184 (60.3%) over the last ten games.

Heavy Hitters
The Islanders out-hit the Sabres 23-15.  Matt Martin had five hits to finish with an NHL-leading 234 hits. It's the second consecutive season that Martin has led the NHL in hits.  Matt Carkner fought Adam Scott in the second period; it was the 18th fight of the season.

Giving Up the Body
The Isles were credited with 16 blocked shots.  Travis Hamonic led the way with six hits. Andre MacDonald had two blocks to give him 123 on the season, tying him with Ron Hainsey for the NHL lead. (However several players who have a game to play have a shot to pass them both.) 

All–time Winners
The Islanders are 9 games over all-time NHL .500 (1371-1362-439 in 3,172 games).  The Isles have finished every season since 1977-78 above all-time NHL .500.

April Wins Bring May Playoff Games
The Isles were 4-2-1 in January and 4-9-1 in February, and 8-5-1 in March.  They are 8-1-4 in April.

Ironmen
John Tavares is the reigning Islanders' ironman. Tavares has now played in 207 consecutive games.
Two other Islanders played in every game for the second straight season: Frans Nielsen and Mark Streit have each played in 130 consecutive games,
Five more players played in every game this season: Kyle Okposo (now 113 consecutive games), Travis Hamonic (70), Matt Martin (61), Andrew Mac Donald & Brad Boyes (48).

Longest Consecutive Game Streaks, Post Cup Era 
·         Matt Moulson 10/3/2009- 4/4/2013  284
·         Richard Park 10/5/2006 – 2/18/2009 221
·         Bryan McCabe 10/7/1995-2/4/1998 220
·         Bryan Trottier 3/7/1981- 1/12/1984 219
·         Mariusz Czerkawski 12/23/1999 – 4/14/2002 215
·         John Tavares 10/16/10 – CURRENT  207

Century Club

Mark Streit now has the sixth longest consecutive game streak of any defenseman in Islander history:
 
1.     Denis Potvin 11/29/1975-1/17/1979  262
2.     Bryan McCabe 10/7/1995-2/4/1998 220
3.     Gerry Hart 3/1/1975-11/22/1977 198
4.     Janne Niinimaa 3/13/2004-1/7/2006 136
5.     Ken Morrow 3/1/1980-12/29/1981 134
6.     Mark Streit  10/8/2011-CURRENT 130
7.     Travis Hamonic 11/24/2010 – 2/4/2012 113
8.     Jean Potvin 10/23/1975-1/2/1977 110
9.     Kenny Jonsson 12/26/1996-2/4/1998 104
 
Hamonic, McCabe and Morrow's streaks came at the start of their NHL careers.  Both Niinimaa's streak and McCabe's streak encompassed their entire Islander careers.

Missing Men
Thomas Hickey replaced Lubomir Visnovsky in the lineup. Jesse Joensuu, Radek Martinek, Anders Lee, Marty Reasoner, Joe Finley and David Ullstrom were also scratched.

Scoring
The Isles have scored 96 goals in their 24 wins (4.00 per game) and 41 goals in their other 24 games (0-17-7; 1.71 per game).  In their 17 regulation losses, the Isles have scored 27 goals (1.59 per game).

Career Wins, Active Goalies
 
Career Wins
18. Gump Worsley 335
20. Nikolai Khabibulin 331
 
Career Shutouts, Active Goalies
 
4. Tomas Vokoun 51
 
Career Shutouts
 
18 Clint Benedict       57
19 Evgeni Nabokov 55
20 Bernie Parent       54
20 Ed Giacomin        54
 
Career Goals as an Islander
 
21
Ray Ferraro
116
 
22
Matt Moulson
112
 
22
John Tavares
112
 
24
Benoit Hogue
105
 
24
Ed Westfall
105
 
 
 
 
Career Assists as an Islander
 
26
Steve Thomas
140
 
27
Mark Streit
139
 
28
Greg Gilbert
138
 
29
John Tavares
137
 
30
Frans Nielsen
136
 
31
Jason Blake
131





Career Games as an Islander (skaters)
25
Gerry Hart
476
26
Mariusz Czerkawski
470
27
Radek Martinek
466
28
Trent Hunter
459



39
Randy Wood
381
40
Frans Nielsen
367
41
Dave Scatchard
347



49
Shawn Bates
330
50
Josh Bailey
329
51
Eric Cairns
327
52
Alan Kerr
326
53
Brad Dalgarno
321
54
Kyle Okposo
319
55
Ray Ferraro
316
55
Steve Webb
316
55
Richard Park
316
58
Gerald Diduck
314
59
Mikko Makela
307
60
Gordon Lane
304
61
Arron Asham
300
61
Roman Hamrlik
300
63
Matt Moulson
293
64
John Tavares
291
65
Gordon Dineen
287
66
Mark Streit
286
67
Jeffrey Norton
282
 
 
 
Career Points as an Islander
21
Jason Blake
258
21
Steve Thomas
258
23
David Volek
249
23
John Tavares
249
25
Ray Ferraro
238



31
Mikko Makela
219
32
Matt Moulson
214
32
Mark Parrish
214
34
Garry Howatt
213
34
Jean Potvin
213
36
Anders Kallur
211
37
Marty McInnis
198
38
Wayne Merrick
197
39
Frans Nielsen
196
40
Robert Goring
195
41
Jeffrey Norton
188
42
Kyle Okposo
185
43
Lorne Henning
184
44
Mark Streit
179
45
Randy Wood
172



Season Series Stats
The Sabres win the season series two games to one (and four points to three). 

Happy Anniversary
38 years ago tonight (4-26-75):  Ed Westfall's third period goal was the game's only tally and Chico Resch recorded the shutout as the Islanders completed their comeback from a 3-0 deficit to eliminate the Penguins in seven games.  It was the only time between 1942 (Maple Leafs) and 2004 (Red Sox) that a professional sports team won a series they trailed three games to none.
All-time, the Isles are 0-1-1 in regular season play and 2-6 in the Stanley Cup Playoffs on this date, with their only win coming in game 1 of the conference finals against Boston in 1983.

On The Farm
Bridgeport finished their season with a 32-32-7-5 record. 

Up Next
THE PLAYOFFS
The Isles' opponent will be determined on either Saturday night or Sunday night.

Where Can the Isles Finish?
Even though their regular season is over, the Islanders can still finish as high as 6th or as low as 8th based on the result of game this weekend.  The Rangers host the Devils at 3pm Saturday while the Senators host Philadelphia on Saturday night and visit Boston on Sunday night.
·         Isles will finish 6th (and face Washington) IF neither Ottawa or the Rangers earn a point in their final games 
·         Isles will finish 7th (and face either Boston or Montreal) IF either Ottawa or the Rangers earn a point in their final games
·         Isles will finish 8th (and face Pittsburgh) IF both Ottawa and the Rangers earn at least one point in their final games

Eric Hornick has been the statistician on Islander home game telecasts since 1982. Information contained in "The Skinny" has been gathered from various sources.  Follow Eric @ehornick on Twitter.
 
Forever1940 is the nom de plume of Eric Hornick, statistician on Islander home telecasts since January 21, 1982. Visit my blog: NYISkinny.com and follow me on Twitter @ehornick